Cooking with Alison

Singapore Fried Vermicelli Recipe

In Rice and Noodle Dishes on December 14, 2010 at am

Singapore style fried rice noodles (rice vermicelli) is a mildly spicy dish that can be found in the types of Chinese restaurants that also serve congee, chow mein, and fried rice.  (Check out those recipes under the Asian category!)  There are many different versions of this dish.  The way it is served in Malaysia is Very different from how it’s made in North America.  But most people agree, that North America makes it best  :)  This recipe is based on the way that all of my favourite restaurants do it.

Singapore Fried Vermicelli Recipe

makes 2 servings

1/4 of a pound of dried rice vermicelli (Note: This comes in 454 g / 16 ounce packages that contain 4 separated bundles of dried noodles; use 1 bundle)

8 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup of Chinese bbq pork (char siu), sliced thinly and then cut into strips   (Note:  You can buy Chinese bbq pork (char siu) or you can make your own by marinating pork side with store bought Chinese bbq sauce and then roasting it on a rack in the oven at 350 F.)

1/2 large yellow onion, sliced thinly

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3 cloves garlic, minced finely

1 slice fresh ginger, cut into thin strips

1 handful of bean sprouts

1 stalk green onions, green parts only cut into 2 inch long pieces

1 1/2 tbsp of mild yellow curry powder

1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil

1/2 tsp (or to taste) garlic chili sauce or ground red chili pepper

1/2 tsp granulated white sugar

1 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp vegetable oil

coarse salt

Note:  If desired, you could add some Chinese powdered chicken bouillon to the sauce for added restaurant flavour.

Bring a kettle of water to a rolling boil.  Place the noodles into a large, heatproof bowl.  Pour the boiling water over the noodles and allow the noodles to soak for about 5 minutes before heating up the wok.  Meanwhile, massage a small pinch of salt into the shrimp and set aside.  In a small bowl, make the sauce by mixing together the sesame oil and curry powder until you have a smooth paste.  Then mix in the chili paste, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar until well combined.  Set aside.

Heat the wok over high heat.  When the wok is hot, add the oil and swirl the wok to coat the bottom half with oil.  Add the shrimp and give it a few quick stirs until they have just turned pink on both sides.  Then push them over to one side and pour the egg into the bottom of the wok.  Sprinkle the egg with a pinch of salt.  The egg will cook very quickly.  Allow it to set for a few seconds, then break it up roughly with your spatula.  Before the eggs have finished cooking, push them aside with the shrimp and add the onions and ginger to the wok.  Give them a few quick stirs until they start to soften, but are still crisp.  Then add the garlic and the sauce.  Mix everything together and cook until the sauce is heated through and fragrant.  Add the bbq pork.  Note that it is very important that the wok is still very hot, but not burnt, at this point.  Then lightly strain the noodles out of the hot water and add them to the hot wok.  Make sure that the noodles still have some water clinging to them when you add them to the wok, or else the sauce will be too thick.  Stir the noodles until everything has been mixed well together.  If the noodles aren’t soft enough for your taste, or if the sauce is too thick, you can add a little bit of water to the wok.  When the noodles are heated through, add salt to taste.  There should not be any liquid in the wok as this is a dry noodle dish.  Add the bean sprouts and green onions and mix again until well combined.  Dish out and serve immediately.

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  1. That looks so delicious! I love Singapore style noodle. It’s so generous and comforting :)

  2. Too bland…
    tastes like a bowl full of curry powder.
    YUM

    • I’m so sorry that you didn’t like it! I wonder if the curry powder that you used was stronger than mine. I use a mild yellow curry powder. Thank you for your comment! The next time I make this, I will test it again by adding more soy sauce and will update the post as necessary.

  3. this is by far the best vermicelli recipe I have tasted

  4. [...] Singapore Fried Vermicelli Recipe. [...]

  5. Tried this recipe yesterday. Turned out really lovely and I received lots of positive comments from my guests. Thank you!

  6. This recipe has flaws. The sauce is like a paste and would need a good amount of water or stock to dilute it. Turns out to be a mushy mess.

    • Hi there! I’m really sorry that you didn’t like this recipe. It’s possible that my noodles were only loosely strained, so I had enough pasta water to dilute the curry and oil paste. Thank you very much for your comment! It will help others to adjust it. Also, in the future, I will test my own recipe to make sure that I didn’t make any mistakes. Thanks again!

  7. So, I don’t know why other people had the problem of it turning out as a powder-taste – I used cheap curry powder (as a student, I often opt for the cheapest thing I can find at the store), and I have to say this recipe turned out AMAZING (I live kind of far from Chinatown, so sometimes I sub out the char siu for left-over roast chicken, but otherwise I follow this to a tee). But, this is just like I had as a kid, if not better! I brought the recipe home one weekend to share with my parents, and my dad loved it so much, he’s been apparently getting my mum to shop around town for the best curry powders possible, since they have it so often. And our family is pretty discerning about their noodle dishes!

    As a side note, Alison, your blog is fantastic. I can’t believe how many wonderful recipes I’ve found here, and so authentic as well (the rice/noodle ones makes me so nostalgic for nights my dad used to bring home noodle dishes from Chinatown when I was a kid, and so happy that I can relive those nights through your recipes. I can’t tell you how wonderful that is for me!). I find myself visiting here often! :) Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you SO SO much for your comment!!! I am so glad to hear that it worked out for you :) Here’s something you might want to try the next time you make this dish: Try adding chicken powder to the curry paste for added restaurant flavour :) And I am so glad to hear that we grew up with the same types of food :) Thanks so much for taking the time to write me! You really made my day :)

  8. This whole recipe requires that the noodles turn out right. We really need more info. 8 minutes boiling time is far to much. Do you cool them after? Turned out a mushy mess. Also, the sauce seems as though it definitely needs to be watered down a bit to spread throughout the noodles.

    • Hi Daryl,

      Thank you for your comment! I’m really sorry that the instructions weren’t clear. The noodles don’t boil for 8 minutes, they merely soak in boiled water. So boiling water should be poured into a large heatproof bowl with the noodles in it. Then the noodles soak. Also, 8 minutes is how long mine soaked for, the time required to soften the noodles may vary depending on the brand of noodles used. So in response to your question, there is no need to cool the noodles. If your noodles don’t have much water clinging to them when you add them to the wok, then feel free to add a bit more water as needed. I also realized a mistake in my instructions. I wrote that the noodles should be drained and set aside in the beginning. When I made this dish, what I actually did is this: I strained the noodles from the water and placed them directly into the hot wok. (Also note that the wok must be very hot, but not burnt, when you add the noodles. This is crucial for not getting soggy noodles.) When I strained the noodles into the wok, I didn’t strain them completely dry, so I was inadvertently adding extra liquid to my wok. I hope that helps. I will revise the instructions accordingly. Thanks again!

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